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Growing Demand for Naturopathic Medicine Practices

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A recent projection from the American Association of Medical Colleges states that the US will be short nearly 122,000 physicians by 2032, including primary care physicians. The main cause of these projected devastating shortages is the aging of both doctors and patients. In addition, health care needs are changing as more patients suffer with serious chronic health problems and quick fixes are hard to find. 

Natural Doctors Can Ease the Primary Care Shortage

Licensed naturopathic doctors can help both ease the coming primary care shortage and shift the focus of care to preventive, whole person medicine.

Over the past decade, there’s been a nationwide shift to embrace licensed naturopathic doctors as high-quality primary care providers. NDs are now officially recognized as primary care providers in states like Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Vermont, New Mexico and Idaho, and are included on Medicaid and insurance plans in a number of states. Licensed naturopathic doctors in Oregon and Vermont have been appointed to serve on the state’s healthcare workforce committees, charged with finding solutions to shortages in the provider healthcare workforce. With NDs being added to health care teams in places like the Veteran’s Administration and Federally Qualified Health Centers, patients can expect to encounter more of these holistically-trained practitioners.

Demand For Naturopathic Medicine is Strong

In a state where Naturopathic doctors are licensed, included in insurance plans, and are part of the fabric of health care, the demand for naturopathic medicine is strong and growing. More patients are demanding a choice in how their healthcare needs are met, and because of this, many are looking for providers that offer preventive strategies, prioritize natural medicine, and are evidence-based in their approach. All of which are fundamental aspects of a naturopathic medical practice.

Experience the benefits of personalized natural healthcare with a trusted, licensed naturopathic doctor in your area.
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Experience the benefits of personalized natural healthcare with a trusted, licensed naturopathic doctor in your area.
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This article is provided by

The Institute for Natural Medicine, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. INM’s mission is to transform healthcare in America by increasing both public awareness of natural medicine and access to naturopathic doctors for patients. INM believes that naturopathic medicine, with its unique principles and practices, has the potential to reverse the tide of chronic illness that overwhelms existing healthcare systems and to empower people to achieve and maintain their optimal lifelong health. INM strives to achieve this mission through the following initiatives:

  • Education – Reveal the unique benefits and outcomes of evidence-based natural medicine
  • Access – Connect patients to licensed naturopathic doctors
  • Research – Expand quality research of this complex and comprehensive system of medicine

About The Author(s)


Institute for Natural Medicine Staff

Our dedicated content team of professional staff writers represents decades of experience covering essential natural health topics in an accessible, evidence-based, and engaging way. Guided by a shared passion for holistic well-being, each and every one of our writers strives to empower our readers to take charge of their health.

Supported by a rigorous fact-checking and medical editing process from licensed naturopathic doctors that examines the latest in peer-reviewed research, our team brings their in-depth knowledge of natural health practices into every piece of content we produce. We strive to be the gold standard for evidence-based natural medicine, providing trustworthy information and inspiring narratives to help you live your best health, naturally.

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